It was after dark last night when I walked from the trailer park to the house. I walked past the occupied casitas at Islandia, smells of carne asada (of course), sounds of music, talking. The tide was low, the surf calm, rhythmic. An orange crescent moon was behind me, over my right shoulder.
Normally at the house I would go inside, watch a little television, read, then go to bed but it wasn't too hot and muggy so I mixed a cocktail, turned off the outside lights, and sat in the dark watching the moon set over Isla Tiburon.
It'd been a strange beach day down here in front of the house. Quiet for a Saturday. Was there a reason there were so few people here? Was there some fiesta in Hermosillo that keep them there? I decided Vanna was bored and needed a trip so I let her take me to New Kino, to Casablanca. I noticed that the two little motels across the street - Alcatraz and Santos - were packed and that people in nice cars were driving around, looking at the "departmentos se renta" signs as though looking for a place to stay.
It took over a half hour to get from my house to Casablanca, normally a 15-minute drive. Cars lined both sides of the street. The palapa beach was packed as was La Palapa restaurant. Every home seemed to be occupied by partiers. It was like those crazy Semana Santa and Semana Diablos weekends. Apparently there were no hotel rooms available.
That is the difference between the new and old Kinos. Old Kino caters more to families; New Kino to college-age kids. It's fun to watch the action in New Kino but I prefer watching the goings-on here in Old Kino.
Before our excursion to New Kino, I'd been in the house when a family set up a brand new canopy on the beach. Obviously the guys hadn't read the instructions and they had a bunch of poles left over. Finally they managed to get it properly assembled. I'd wanted to go out and paint my toenails in the light of the sun, use the wall as a place to prop my feet, but I didn't want the family to think I was watching them so instead I stayed inside and watched them from behind these mirrored windows.
Canopy up, they left grandma there to keep an eye on it while they went back to their motel rooms and changed. First the dads returned with the little kids. They played in the water while the wives prepared snacks, gathered up towels and beach toys.
There's this L-shaped wall outside the back gate.
Its purpose is to keep sand out of the patio. People will often sit on that little wall. They'll drape their clothes and towels on it. Children will picnic in that small alcove. I looked out a little later and two of the girls were behind the wall changing out of their swimsuits. The mothers were standing guard while the young girls ducked behind the wall and shimmied out of their clothes. I stood behind the mirrored windows and watched. So much for their privacy! I decided that was a good time to go wash dishes or something.
Last night as I sat watching the moon, I saw flashes of light. I'd seen lightning in the distance, off toward Calle Doce, but these flashes were too bright, too low, too near. Finally it dawned on me that maybe it was my neighbor, who is a photographer, up on her roof trying to capture that moonset over Tiburon.
Lights went on at the rental next door, to my right. I glanced over and there were about eight people there. Half the group ran out into the water. Four women remained at the palapa. Music played on the boombox. The palapa was lit with a soft light. The women were tall, thin, all in bikinis. They danced with the palapa's pole. They danced provocatively with one another. I wanted to take a picture but I worried that even if I managed to get the flash turned off on the camera, somehow it would flash and give me away. So I stood in the shadows and watched. I imagined that Jose, who lives in the house on the other side, also stood and watched.
This is the photo I snapped this morning:
Beercan remnants from the night before.
It's nice staying in a real house with room to roam, with a refrigerator in the actual kitchen and not out in the bodega, with wireless internet that's reliable, with a freakin' DRYER! But the thing I'll miss most when I move back to my trailer is watching the people. Watching moms carry their babies into the sea. Watching dads toss kids into the water from their shoulders. Watching.